Warsaw, 15 December 2016: Conference on “Best practices of territorial branding and cross-border tourism products and services” :
On 15 December 2016, the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism organised a conference on “Best practices of territorial branding and cross-border tourism products and services” in Warsaw.
The conference was opened by Mr. Dawid Lasek, Undersecretary of State Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland; PhD Bartłomiej Walas, Vice-President of the Polish Tourist Organisation, and Mr. Czesław Fiedorowicz, Chairman of the Board of Federation of the Republic of Poland Euroregions and President of the Parliament of the Lubuskie Province, who spoke about the “Tourist potential of border regions”.
The introduction focused on Teritorial brand and Carpathian Brand, presented by Mr. Piotr Lutek, President of Consultancy Agency Synergia, and Beskid Niski Brand, presented by Mr. Robert Łętowski, Vice-President of the Local Tourist Organisation „Beskid Zielony”.
Special Presentations were given by prof. Hanna Zawistowska, Warsaw School of Economics, prof. Tadeusz Burzyński, Institute of Tourism in Krakow, and Mr. Józef Ratajski, Polish Association of Private Employers in Tourism Lewiatan.
Cross-border tourism outside Poland was tackled under the headline “Foreign Case Studies”, moderated by Mr. Piotr Lutek, President of Consultancy Agency Synergia, the following presentations were given:
- Cross-border tourism – Mr. Jens Gabbe, Chairman of the Advisory Committee Association of European Border Regions
- Tourism developments as tools of strengthening cross-border territorial integration – Mr. Roland Hesz, analyst at CESCI, Budapest, Hungary
- Mr. Jozef Polačko, President Association Carpathian Euroregion Slovakia
- Cross-border cooperation between cities and possibilities for development of tourism
Mr. Ján Holodňák, Mayor Svidník, Slovakia
Cross-border tourism at Polish borders was discussed under the topic “The domestic case studies. Good practices on the creation of products and tourism services”, where the following cases were presented:
- Poland - Germany: Where the glacier left a footprint- Mr. Andrzej Marszałek, Member of the Board of the Geopark Association "Muzakov Arch"
- Poland - Slovakia: History cultural and nature trail around the Tatra brand - the cross-border tourist product Euroregion "Tatry" – Mrs. Agnieszka Pyzowska, director of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation TATRY
- Poland - Belarus: Bialowieza Cross-border Route- a joint Belarusian Polish tourist product – Mr. Jan Chomczuk, Director of the Office of Local Government Association Euroregion Bialowieza Forest
The Conference concluded with a summary given by Mr. Dawid Lasek, Undersecretary of State Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland.
The speech of Mr. Gabbe focused on the potential for tourism development as a route to diversification and restructuring of border regions, based on “niche” tourism strategies. Whilst some border regions must deal with problems associated with mass tourism, others, especially those “lagging behind” in their development, tend to have a good potential for tourism. Main activities to promote tourism development in cross border regions focus on co-operation at strategic level to research opportunities and design joint strategies, followed by creating joint tourism products, marketing strategies and support services.
- Tourism can act as a catalyst for structural adjustment and development of cross-border regions and can contribute to development across a variety of fields including labour market (new skills and alternative employment), infrastructure and facilities (roads, transport, accommodation and leisure facilities) and investment and new business location;
- Tourism development strategies must be based on the concept of sustainable development and awareness of potential weaknesses associated with the negative effects of tourism (on the environment, agriculture, local communities, etc.). Environmental aspects must be integrated into the decision-making and management of tourism projects.
- Successful tourism development in the regions requires cooperation at strategic level (planning products, markets, etc.) and at the level of practical action/projects involving a wide range of interests (public, private, community);
- The existing strong competition between the border areas needs to be replaced with the idea that a cross-border region can jointly offer a unique product or range of products.
- Successful tourism development strategies relate to creating a diversity of products and services to attract and retain tourists in the first instance and for longer periods; effectively targeting segments of the market; and delivery of “total” quality services.